FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q&A Before you Decide to Enroll:
1. Do you have Mandarin classes for a beginner, or Mandarin conversation for
A: Yes, the Mandarin Conversation國語會話 (MC) class is designed for beginners
of all ages. The idea is to learn Chinese through natural discussion. The class
provides opportunities for you to interact and internalize the new skill with a
language “partner.” Please take advantage of the open enrollment policy and join
2. My child is 16 months, what is your minimum age requirement for
A: Our very popular Mommy & Me class 國語小小班accepts students from age 2 to
5. The class meets every Saturday of the school year, from 11am to 11:55am.
Please feel free to bring your little one and try it out. The core Chinese classes
can accept your child at age 5, from kindergarten to AP classes (K – 9).
3. What is the cost of the Mommy & Me class?
A: The cost is $220 for 31 wks of activities in the school year.(As of Jan 2014) Always check for current pricing.
4. I’m unable to find your schedule online.
A: Please reference our calendars
on the left side of the webpage
www.southbaychineseschool.org. Scroll down to find links to a printable
calendar, as well as a mini calendar embedded with events. Please also feel free
to send us an info request on the contact page click here
5. What is the difference between the fall semester and the full year?
A: We run two 16-wks semesters a year. Fall semester goes from Sept to Mid-Jan.
Spring semester runs from Mid-Jan to early June. Each class is progressive, and
one textbook will be covered per 2 semesters. See Q.4 for school calendar.
6. Can we listen in on a class before registering?
A: Yes, welcome! Please feel free to stop by any Saturday (except school holidays)
between 9am to 11am (see Q.4 for school calendar). Our office manager, Mrs.
Stenger can process your visitor’s pass.
7. How and When can I register my child?
A: Please take advantage of the open enrollment policy and join anytime.
Volunteers in the SBCS office can provide the paperwork required, or you may
choose to do so online, via PayPal.
8. Where is the SBCS office?
A: Look for the big SBCS banner down the main entrance. This is where the
administrative office is. The school is open on 32 Saturdays, from 9am to noon;
9. We are interested in enrolling, but are very worried about how it will work
with the kids’ sport and school activities on Saturdays.
A: You have a very common concern with most other parents. Over the past 42
years, our school has co-existed with thousands of very busy South Bay families.
Our teachers are very experienced and flexible; they work with your family to
help your kid(s) succeed, in the amount of time he/she can attend to Chinese
10. Is there any way to join classes far into a school year?
A: Yes, we have open enrollment, and our teachers are very experienced and flexible
in fitting new students into the classes.
11. Why do you require tuition payment all at once?
A: Our experience is that developing a language skill requires frequent interaction.
Families do find it necessary, and very helpful, to stay with our school more than
1 semester. With the tuition set at a very affordable rate (~ $7/hr), the once a year
tuition collection was voted in as a necessary measure to streamline the time &
effort required given the limited numbers of resources on hand to process new
registration and payments.
12. My child is a beginner; please explain the difference between Mandarin
Conversation (MC) and core Chinese (LK/HLK/C1) classes?
A: Students in the conversation class learn Chinese through listening and natural
discussion (also see question 1). It is a standalone class which can be a transition
class to allow students more time to understand the new language by focusing on
listening and speaking 聽和講first. Some Cantonese speaking students or
students with English speaking parents would take this class as a preparation to
migrate to a higher level core Chinese class later, such as L2 or even L3 classes.
In contrast, students in the core Chinese classes must also learn reading and
writing 讀和寫. They advance throughout the curriculum with the same
classmates from kindergarten to AP (K – 9) levels.
13. What is the difference between LK (Level Kindergarten) and HLK (Hanyu
A: LK is for you if you are interested in learning traditional Chinese characters to
write, and using the zhuyin注音technique (bo po mo fo) to pronounce the words.
HLK is for you if you are interested in using simplified Chinese characters to
write, and using the pinyin 拼音style to pronounce the words. Although some
may consider one method “easier” or “more popular” than the other, most
students are an “open book” and they will adjust well in either method. We
recommend that your family evaluates both classes to find a better match for
14. We are Cantonese, but our goal is for our kids to know both Mandarin and
Cantonese. Should we enroll in the Cantonese series first or go straight to
A: Our school is the only school in the South Bay to offer Cantonese classes廣東話
班, which are taught by seasoned teachers. Besides having ample of chances to
speak and learn in Cantonese, the unique and very effective curriculum helps
students build an unusually strong vocabulary base, reading and writing in
traditional characters. So, as they transition to the Mandarin track, they can then
focus primarily in listening and pronunciation. We recommend that your family
evaluates both classes to find a better match for YOU.
AFTER YOU ENROLL:
1. We paid on line, so how do we know if we are registered?
A: When the school gets all the information together, we’ll email or call you
regarding what may still be required. We will provide information on what to
expect. You may also send us an info request on the contact page click here.
2. Where do we go on our first day of school?
A: In the beginning of the Fall Semester, the school will kick off with an Opening
Ceremony開學典禮. You will see posted signs directing you to event location.
Otherwise, look for any parent volunteers in red SBCS shirt, or the SBCS
administrative office on campus.
3. Is there a map showing all the rooms that SBCS uses?
A: Yes, a map is usually taped near the official SBCS banner. Look for the banner down the main entrance. This is also where the administrative office is. There may be one posted online.
4. Where is the SBCS office?
A: Look for the big SBCS banner down the main entrance. This is also where the
Q: My child is in High School, is the summer school appropriate for my child?
A: Yes, each student can enjoy learning Chinese during the summer. Aside from the
standard summer school classes, SBCS Teachers also offer one-on-one tutoring for any age student.
Q: Is the summer school only for young children?
A: The summer school is a mixture of 5 to 18 years old students. The teacher will
divide them into groups of similar age according to their Chinese proficiency level.
They will also share many fun educational activities such as cooking Chinese food,
arts, dancing, and etc.
Q: May my child only take a few weeks of classes?
A: Yes, the program is flexible. Parents can choose the number of weeks of
enrollment. Each student can be enrolled for ½ day or full-day classes on a weekly
Q: How to Get a WEBSITE ACCOUNT?